People who are double vaccinated will no longer need to self isolate if they come into contact with a positive Covid case from next week, the government has confirmed.
The changes, which also apply to children under the age of 18, will mark an end to the so-called pingdemic as fully-jabbed Brits will be able to return to work and school and meet friends and family even if they are pinged by the NHS app.
Instead of self-isolating, people will be advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said the rule changes marked “another huge step back towards our normal lives”.
Seventy-five per cent of people in the UK have now received both doses of the vaccine, meaning the majority of Brits will no longer need to self-isolate if they come into contact with a positive case.
The relaxation of rules, which was announced last month as part of the final stage of the government’s lockdown roadmap, will come into force from Monday 16 August for all people who received their final dose at least 14 days prior to contact with a positive case.
Anyone who tests positive following a PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, while anyone who gets Covid symptoms should get a test and isolate until the result comes back.
The changes will come as a boost to businesses, which have suffered acute staff shortages due to a surge in the number of people required to self-isolate.
Several West End shows have also had to cancel performances in recent days as the pingdemic wreaked havoc in theatreland.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson came under pressure from business groups and Labour last month to ease the rules earlier than planned but declined to do so, saying more time was needed to allow more people to be vaccinated.